Work-related eye injuries cause workers to lose an average of two working days.
Any foreign object causing irritation, injury, or blindness is the most commonly reported eye injury. Flying objects, bits of glass and metal, tools, chemicals, and minute particles are hazards often resulting in eye injuries. When a person suffers an eye injury resulting in partial or total loss of vision, the ability to live a normal life and to earn a living is seriously compromised.
Work-Related Eye Injuries Are Common
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that each year, there are about 25,290 workplace-related eye injuries. This amounts to 69 injuries per day or 3 eye injuries per hour! The BLS data shows that such eye injuries cause workers to lose an average of two working days.
Medical Treatments for Eye Injuries Are Expensive
In addition to the loss of pay due to absence from work, medical treatment costs for eye injuries are high. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that eye injuries cost more than $300 million per year. This amount includes lost production time, medical expenses, and workers’ compensation benefits.
Eye Injuries Can Be Prevented
OSHA reveals that proper protection and safety gear can prevent most eye injuries. Many reported cases of serious eye injuries could have been avoided by the use of correct safety and prevention measures. The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that more than 90 percent of all reported eye injuries can be avoided with protective eyewear.
All employers are responsible for providing a safe working environment for their employees. An employer is also responsible to demonstrate the correct use of protection gear and provide proper training. OSHA has provided standards for industries related to construction, shipyard employees, long-shoring and general industries.
Reporting an Eye Injury
It is essential for workers to report an eye injury in a timely manner. Proper reporting will help an injured employee to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. A delay in reporting can jeopardize your eligibility. Injuries should be reported in writing.